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tv   The Presidency Decorative Arts Design in the White House  CSPAN  July 2, 2018 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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the fiscal health of the u.s.. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal," live at 7:00 eastern monday morning. join the discussion. announcer: next on "the presidency," we hear about the evolution of decorative arts and design at the white house and its british roots. are the surveyor of the queens works of art with the royal collection trust, and white house curator. this was part of a day long symposium hosted by the white house historical association and focused on the history of british and irish connections with the white house. this is an hour. >> for those of you who are here this morning, i'm dr. curtis sandberg. i direct the rubenstein center. i mentioned earlier that we spent the morning, for those of you who are back from the a.m., considering 200 years in the u.k. and ireland connections in the white house. we examined the role of james hoben.
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we have chronicled the contribution of scottish stone missions -- of scottish stonemasons hopefully you have gone back and met chuck and seen the double scottish roses emerging back there. we are incredibly fortunate to have two. it is a doubleheader. is the rufus byrd, who surveyor of the queens works of art in the royal collection trust. it does a lot of things, but it looks after the royal collection, which is frankly, one of the most important art collections on earth, on the planet. rufus is an author, a curator. he will place the decorative arts and fine arts connections. we have had him and lydia, the white house curator on the phone and connecting. connecting micro and macro, and contextualizing all of this. rufus is going to evaluating decorative and fine art connections between the atlantic world and the united states.
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placing it all in a larger perspective. he will be followed by our similarly honored guest, lydia who is the curator of the white house. lydia has been part of the curatorial staff there since 1979. she has lectured far and wide and she has published articles on the collection, and is also a valued partner of the white house historical association. she will then build on rufus's talk by building on specific examples from the white house. and connect these to the larger symposium. without further do, please welcome rufus byrd from london. [applause] rufus: good afternoon. thank you very much. it is a great privilege and a pleasure to be speaking here today about this remarkably brought subject. my subject is the evolution of decorative arts in britain and its effect in america. lydia will be talking about the american side of things.
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but it cannot be denied that at precisely this moment in history of our nations, nothing speaks stronger of that relationship so eloquently alluded to by those two speakers after lunch, a young couple tying the knot having conducted a transatlantic relationship. we are all very excited about this british and american alliance, soon to be cemented. but seriously, back to the subject. what i want to do in the next 30 minutes or so is try and take you on a quick journey through two centuries of the evolution of design. i've tried to divide up this
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beast by chosing different media. running through all of this, but not always mentioned is the importance of architecture. of course, architecture provided the container, a backdrop, and in many examples of great works of art to shine and great people to perform to their public. this is especially true with palace architecture. our story begins with england at the end of the 18th century, which was referred to this morning. powerful landowners ought large -- bought large country mansions. many of those landowners or -- were supporters of the political faction which they had been handing the british crown and its successors to the heirs of the electric. i'm not going to go into all of this genealogical complication, but the point is that this
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austere classical style was to be repurposed protestant and english. it was a new national style derived from italian sources and rooted in the ideals of republican rome. designs were published in a book. by the architect colin campbell. this was published in several volumes from 1715 onward. the title was taken from the name of the author of the only surviving treatise. similar designs from the white house to british houses published early in the 18th century. some owners of these houses furnished their enormous and rather bleak mansions with furniture bought from london's best makers. in the 1750's, one of the best-known was thomas chippendale, celebrating the
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bicentennial of his birth this year. he was slated to become the most famous and still is one of the few british cabinetmakers people have actually heard of. other than that, they think of a group of male strippers from las vegas, very talented dancers from las vegas. [applause] -- [laughter] his name was made on account of his designs. this book proves and credibly popular. -- this book proved incredibly popular. and with through three editions between 1754 and 1762, and this book spawned numerous imitations in all parts of the country. i share here some of his chair designs, which as you can see, were copied in america soon after printing. bestugh chippendale's furniture was made later in the classical style of the 1760's and 1770's, his designs reflect perfectly the exuberance of designs of the middle years of the 18th century known as the
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or moderne rococo style. chippendale's workshop was large, too. at one time, about 100 craftsmen worked there. the means of production, to borrow a term, was a turning point. one of the cleverest to realize its potential was matthew bolton, an entrepreneur who captured the latest decorative arts and produced candelabra, silver, and others in the most efficient way possible. you can see some of his work in the upper left-hand corner. by replicating elements of the design and assembling those elements in varied ways, thus ensuring novelty and great efficiency. he successfully applied new mechanization technology to the creation of luxury objects, and can thus be seen as the father of the luxury car manufacturer. in the 1770's, the whole of europe was gripped by a mania of artists, which have emerged from
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the recent fascination of ancient classical design, many of which derived from archaeological discoveries in italy. the shape of the vase can be seen as a central element of the design, both dictating its form and promoting its function. through the 18th-century, while the trades of furniture and metal making carried on much as they had done almost forever, with the notable exception of bolton's manufacturing in birmingham, great transformations were brought at the end of the 18th-century. here was a new technology. the creation of imitation chinaware. great breakfast, tea and dinner services were made using porcelain with almost the same purity as those impeccable lustrous pieces imported from china and japan. but crucially able to be made fairly cheaply, locally and for a wide market, and also in great quantity. and also in deluxe format.
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the natural deposits and waterways around the west midlands of britain made the -- made it the ceramic heart of the country. the famous blue jasperware was so fashionable and influential, he established his own manufacturing form. in using the solid color of the contrasting background to the white marble like figures, which stood out in low relief, the buyer of his jasperwares was able to show his taste for the classical and sophistication. one of the most famous objects of the day was portland vase in the upper left. a roman vase circa 20 bc. one of the best-known roman antiquities. wedgwood borrowed it, amazingly, in 1787 and reproduced in 1790.
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i keep pressing the wrong button. sorry about that. now i am going ahead. just after the turn of the century, the beginning of the 19th century, this craze of roman and greek antiquity evolved into a mania for an older civilization. egypt was at that time being explored and uncovered. theengravings made during campaign in egypt in 1798 were published. it proved to be enormously influential. thanks to the hostilities of the -- thanks to the lull in hostilities of the continent of europe, the publication succeeded and the style spread across europe like a virus. soon enough, furniture and designs were being reflected for this new style. you can't see it particularly well, but it's yellow is
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imitation marble walls, and matching egyptian candelabra was designed by precisely this time, 1802-1806. one of the best-known and most successful publications which included this new style , householdhopes furniture and interior decoration of 1807. hope was a son of a wealthy banking family and have traveled much in greece and turkey. his designs are flecked of his exoticism and eclecticism. though his handbook was published in monochrome, no producer would take on publishing it in color. it was described in the accompanying text. part of the newly fashionable part of london. this is the style which many
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refer to as regency. in actual fact, the prince regent himself did not adopt the fashionable style seen in hope's manual of household furniture. george, prince of wales, the prince regent from 1811 and king george vi from 1820 until his death was an extraordinary man. loathed by historians for almost bankrupting the nation, but adored by art historians like me for his passion and genius and collecting, quite often against the fashionable times. he looked both forward and backward in his taste and was a builder of magnificent and often fantastical palaces. in his pavilion at brighton, he bought a modest villa at the end of the 18th-century. over the next 25 years, greatly enlarged it and transformed its interiors into these bizarre and spectacular asian inspired
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fantasies. there we are, sorry. there we are. it was the prince of wales, his chinese and indian inspired interiors and the objects he inspired filled the pavilion and wrist -- revived the style, an outdated term that describes 19th-century creations that responded to actual asian works of art. many of which were made in china and japan, specifically for export to europe. there we are. inevitably, the prince of wales tired of his asian inspired exoticism and moved on to a new british national style. perhaps appropriately in the wake of the defeat of napoleon, a wave of patriotism brought a revival of the medieval gothic style. though gothic was used throughout the 18th-century, from the middle of the 1820's, a new interpretation was seen and was enthusiastically taken up by
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augustusess designer pugin, who designed furniture for george vi and charles barry, with the houses of parliament and big ben after the fire destroyed the old medieval buildings. his campaign to preserve the gothic style found its expression in his book, which contrasted the gothic style to a more recent and widespread classical style. in this image on the left, which i hope you can make out, he has imagined a town built on the principles of classical architecture in the upper image, and the society it fosters. in the image below, one built on gothic or more broadly medieval principles. notice the large industrial warehouses, the deeply austere
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and for bidding -- and forbidding prison in the foreground. a small classical chapel has been added. everywhere else, the chimneys and mills of progress are seeing. in the other lower image, it is the cathedral spires which dominate and thus worship the roman catholic church, god and community hold the upper hand, not commerce. if building could have had something to have a political dimension, its association with the powerful weakness to hold the balance of power through much of the century in the 19th , century, perhaps in revulsion of the technological advances of the industrial revolution, with -- we see a powerful social dimension. as we have seen, these ideas soon found their way into furniture design and other decorative arts. in fact, pugin made little or no distinct and between architecture and its context. he saw them both as part of the seamless whole.
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the theorist whose ideas underpinned the medievalist toals, which provided vision commerce, john raskin. his theories of art, which is informs artll education and appreciation today, were based on the primacy of naturalness and godliness. all seen as an aid to contemplate nature. his didacticism was encapsulated in his belief that the greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plane -- in a plain way. the single most important event in the decorative arts across the entire course of the 19th century in britain was the great exhibition. properly titled the great exhibition of the works of industry of all nations 1851, which combined a be will during array of works of art of industry from all parts of the globe. there were over 7000 british exhibitors and just under 7000
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foreign displays. and over 100,000 individual exhibits. it was a massive display of british imperial might and of international industrial production. the project was conceived by prince albert. it saw enormous success, 6 million visitors from the first of may until the end of october 1851. it led to the establishment of exams and colleges clustered together today in the south kensington. although the great exhibition was not the first large scale trade or industrial exhibition, it was the largest and most influential leading to a series of important international exhibitions which continue in a reduced format today such as the international expo and the world trade fairs and so on. but in the 19 century, they encouraged and fostered the immediate development of product awareness across borders. and this was of course incredibly important for the
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-- before the electronic age. the philadelphia exposition in 1876 was incredibly influential in this country. prince albert is a prime mover behind the great exhibition also actively encouraged buddhist -- british manufacturers experimenting with technology, and patronized several firms with commissions for their displays at the great exhibition, including the birmingham metalworking firm which in 1840, was the first to patent an electroplating technol assess, which is a thin layer of silver applied to base metal. before this very public and international display of ernest industry, a young welsh architect had traveled around the mediterranean seeking to
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provide a new language or perhaps a lexington -- a lexicon, a language of architecture. for this new industrial age. he published his book in 1856. james sought a new cosmopolitan approach to design. his travels took him to granada, and also to cairo and istanbul. in the story basis, he came under the spell of islamic architecture. his book of patterns emerged onto a british market for decorative arts, which was defined by curiosity and the emulation of other cultures. the interior and exterior of the crystal palace, an iron structure in hyde park, was part of the exhibition. ssistantsmes' a
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sought a career in the botany. to design theory and published on ornamental design and its application. he is best known for his designs for ceramics, which he did for wedgwood, and for carpets and metalwork for elkington. dresser is essential to decorative arts in the century. he was able to impose a rigid system on ornamental and natural thoughts and incorporate elements from different cultures, particularly japan, all of which created his vocabulary. his designs for the 1870's reflects the revivalist, which had dominated victorian design since the 1850's. many of which were captured in his grammar of ornaments. including egyptian and oriental styles. dresser was well-known as a
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designer in britain and the -- in the 1870's and was equally admired in the usa. he traveled to chicago in 1876. he met with john mcgraw, a wall popular -- a wallpaper retailer. his carpets and wallpapers or -- were soon made available in chicago and along the eastern seaboard. in april 1879, the washington post noticed the demands for modern design was here to stay. mania has ine arts more ways than one has simmered down to actual work. in fact, it is quite time to leave off calling it a mania at all since it is rapidly rising to the dignity of a permanent industry. the pragmatism and commercialism of dresser was contracted by the equally influential ideas and practices of william morris. craftsman, architect, designer, and spatial theorist. his accomplice designs of natural form were made into textiles and wallpapers.
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his firm was started with a mission to reform what he considered to be the very sorry and degraded state of decorative arts. it is often not realized that a very large portion of the decorative arts and furnishing in britain at this time were some kind of recoco revivalist style. it was not, of course. this was a very small part of the market and this is one of the things that you always learn and see in galleries and if you read books about the 19th century, this is the sort of thing you can read about. but the reality is that houses up and down the country were filled with this kind of revival style. although morris was highly critical of the increasing industrialization of the manufactured works of art in britain, he was such a stressor that he was unable to stand the
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tide of that commercial success which resulted from the consumer boom. in any case, his own productions, instead of being accessible to a broad market as he had hoped became increasingly expensive and affordable only to a specialized elite, which he despised and remained at odds with his theory that art should be made available and shared by all as previously expounded by john ruskin. ro commissions -- i have to say something about royal commissions -- especially palace furnishing schemes are really considered to be in the vanguard of art and design. one prayer exception seems to be work undertaken at st. james's palace. to 1882, a painter, the partner in the firm was introduced to william cooper, the commissioner, through john ruskin. they were given the job of
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redecorating two rooms, the armory on the right and the tapestry room on the left. this was followed by work undertaken by them in other rooms by providing new wallpapers, stenciling, and wall hangings. this was not much known about. for the most part, we have been considering works that have for much of the second half of the 20th century been considered at the pinnacle of achievement in british decorative arts. as i referred to earlier, the morris and dressers. certainly they would feature heavily in decorative arts courses in britain and america. understandably, there be -- there are fewer studies alongside the more famous contemporaries. whatever the case, the accommodation of the head of state of what was then the most powerful nation in the world
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must surely be given some thought. i think this is especially true in the case of queen victoria and prince albert who found an inventive designer and art advisor in lewd wake g -- in lugwig gruenner. he likely met prince albert in rome. both were let loose on buckingham palace's interiors in the 1850's and produced wonderfully rich, polychrome wall decorations which you can see on the left. by the time edward the seventh succeeded his mother in 1901, those interiors were hopelessly out of date, and instead, a sort of louis the 16th revivalist art style was invoked. edward the seventh brought in his architect. they introduced the white and gold painted look so much associated with the ritz hotel in london, which was completed around the same time as the interiors of the palace. i think you can see a very stark contrast.
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it is more or less as it looks today on the right. palaces interiors have changed very little since the early 20th century. mention must be made of queen mary. she was very much a product of her time. she was intensely interested in the decorative arts and collected numerous small intricate objects such as jade or gold boxes. a great many of which she recorded. she too recorded her own private rooms in the palace including a japan room and a chinese chippendale room. shown in the painting, top left. that very much reflected the 1850's by the collecting furnish ture by thoms chippendale. it was largely dominated by passion -- by fashion surviving earlier styles, often mixing them together, which to our
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purest eyes and historically minded way of thinking we today find an comprehensible. during the interwar years a , small group of collectors and architects designers sought out pieces of furniture and works of art in that bold and austere regency style, such as those published by thomas hope. the rooms were decorated in colors and patterns and filled with appropriate furniture, some of which had belonged to thomas hope himself. like other revivalists, the regency revival was also popular in the u.s. while a historian of the period, while england toyed with a style, a more courageous style in the u.s. have filled the showroom with revivals. by 1930, the u.s. had experienced several stages of empire and regency revivals. its durability perhaps due to the adaptability of pieces, emblems even of the last great classical style. interiors of postwar austerity
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london are best seen in empty -- the sparse, clean, and empty rooms of clearance house, occupied from 1948 until 1952 by the duke and duchess of edinburgh, following their marriage in 1947. the lack of craftsmen and materials in london and the inappropriateness of the lavishness informed the presentation of the royal interiors of the heir to the throne. after princess elizabeth's succession as queen elizabeth ii in 1952, clarence house became the home of the dowager queen mother, where she resided gradually fading grandeur over the course of the next 50 years. emergence from postwar austerity is often50's symbolized in postwar britain. the bombs outside were identified as the focal point for a series of nationwide
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events,cultural celebrating britain's past and looking forward to a new confident future. the modernist pavilion showcased british design, arts and culture and introduced color into a bleak, gray cityscape that were iconic to the nation. tonic to theatoni nation. it was a new dawn for enjoying life on modern terms with modern technology. this exposure to contemporary culture coincided with a nostalgic look to the nation's past. probably not dissimilar to the opening ceremonies of london 2012 olympic games. how to draw these strands to a close and to consider the case -- the place of british art in relation to the united states? certainly the chippendale style in new york reflects the political colonial relationship and the appearance in popularity of design objects in the 19 century embraces the commercial enterprise. the 20th century is harder to
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the 20th century is harder to pin down. the plurality and proliferation of styles went hand in hand with a new national confidence and growing individualism. as a final thought, it will be interesting to see what styles harry and meghan come up with. thank you. [applause] director sandberg: following that, please join us in welcoming the curator of the white house. [applause] lydia: thank you for having me today. when designing my talk, i was asked not to focus solely on the objects themselves, but why they are in our collection. i'm not able to show you everything. i don't think i'm able to show you anything. [laughter]
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lydia: i am not able to show you everything associated with the united kingdom and ireland, only a few selections. to learn more about these and other objects in our collection, i encourage you to see some of our major publications written by my predecessors who are both here today. namely, the white house's historic furnishings and first families and official white house china as well as art in the white house, and nations pride, essays by the art historian, all published by the white house historical association, i should add. with the object featured today, i think you will see that nearly all were gifts to the white house. some examples are gestures of goodwill, tokens of friendship while others were presented to
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enhance the historic furnishing so that only the finest objects would be found in the home of the president of the united states. what better place to begin them n with the desk made by the timbers of the hms resolute? it was a part of an exhibition formed in 1852 to search for the explorer sir john franklin. sir john franklin had set out in 1845 in search of the northwest passage. by july of that year, he had disappeared. in the meantime, other expeditions were formed, but this one consisted of five of vessels, including the resolute, that was constructed especially for arctic service. the bow, which had been hired to cut through the ice and was under the command of captain. henry in april of 1854, it was trapped in the ice. they had already spent two
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winters in the arctic, their supplies were running low and the expedition commander decided it was time to abandon the icebound vessel. under protest and with some ceremony, the resolute was abandoned on may 15, 1854, in the ice of melville sound. south of cornwallis island. in september of 1855, she was found by in american -- an american whaleship, she had drifted nearly 1100 miles away from where she had been left. the captain knew of the resolute, the expedition and the abandonment and thought, safe delivery of this ship to some port could be profitable. [laughter] first, they had to prepare her to sail. she was listing badly to her port side, she still had ice attached. it took several weeks to pump out the water and resume an even
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keel. so captain budding tin -- divided his crew between the two ships, departed in october, and their trip home was very challenging. the resolute was missing her topmast. she was poorly rigged, and they repeatedly ran into bad weather. they finally arrived in new london, connecticut on christmas eve of 1855. the suggestion to refit the ship and return it to england came from a wealthy philanthropist. he had financed an earlier expedition in search of sir john franklin. a bill was introduced in congress on june 24 of 1856 to authorize the purchase and restoration of the resolute at $40,000 was appropriated. on november 14, 1856, the resolute set sail for england under the command of naval
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officer henry and arrived december 12. here, you see queen victoria and her family visiting the ship and being greeted by the captain. the captain in his presentation speech said, allow me to welcome your majesty on board the resolute, and in obedience to the will of my countrymen and of the president of the united states, to restore her to you, not only as an evidence of a friendly feeling to your sovereignty, but as a token of love, admiration and respect to your majesty, personally. the resolute was commissioned in 1879 and dismantled in 1870. -- 1880. on august 26 of that year, the, -- victor, the british ambassador at washington road to the secretary of state of an impending gift of a writing table being made in the direction of the queen from the
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arctic discovery ship resolute. it would be presented to the president of the united states in grateful acknowledgment of the restoration of the vessel in 1856. this writing table was shipped to new york on november 15 on a steamship. it arrived at the white house on november 23. the lucky recipient, president rutherford b. hayes wasted no time using it. on the day of its arrival, he wrote a brief letter to a historian george bancroft which said, mrs. hayes wishes me to thank you for the english newspapers containing a good word about the administration of her husband. it gives me pleasure to say that i do it in the first note written in the desk made from the timbers of the resolute sent by queen victoria to the president. there is a plaque mounted on the drawer that is still there today, i might add, that briefly outlines the history of the
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ship, and says that this table was presented by the queen of great britain and ireland to the president of the united states as a memorial as a courtesy and lovingkindness which dictated the author of the gift of the resolute. i also wanted to share this image with you. it's something that appeared a couple of weeks later in the december 11, 1880 issue of a newspaper. it was a design not chosen, but featured relief carvings of both president hayes and queen victoria. if you look carefully on the sides, you will see that there were arctic signs provided in relief carvings. what was selected was a much simpler design with carved moldings. the pedestal desk was the work of william, a skilled carver. the panels with the seal of the president of the united states, that is associated with this
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desk today was added at the request of president franklin roosevelt. it was partly a desire to hide his leg braces and a safe under his desk. it was designed by a white house architect and constructed of hard oak in 1945. unfortunately, president roosevelt didn't live long enough to see the panel completed. i can't say that this desk has been used by nearly every president since rutherford b. hayes. it was first placed in the oval office by president kennedy after president kennedy's death, it left on exhibition. it was returned to the white house in 1977 for president carter. here, you see it today and president trump's oval office. as we learned at lunchtime, during the latter part of the 19th century, there were various
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pieces of china purchased from british companies for the white house. they weren't full services, but i wanted to show you briefly a selection of some of those pieces. the slide on the left shows you some dinner plates that were acquired during the cleveland administration. on the right are some examples from the mckinley administration. dinner plates made by minton. in 1903, a state service was purchased for the white house. by 1901, during the presidency of theodore roosevelt, it was pretty obvious that the white house was in need of a full china service. a company in new york was charged to help the white house acquire such a service. president roosevelt hoped it could be made by a u.s. company. an article in the october 30,
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1902 issue of the clay records suggested that an order was actually turned down by a pottery company in east liverpool, ohio. the large order, the different shapes that were needed were needed with just too much for the small plants. edith roosevelt very much wanted a design that was simple and not ornate. what was chosen was this, made by wedgwood. a cream white color porcelain decorated in gold. it was an adaptation of one of the wedgwood patterns. it is described by the press as a simple colonial pattern. what made it unique to the white house was the addition of the hand-painted great seal of the united states. i thought you would enjoy seeing some other forms from this service. there is an oyster plate on the left, a dummy task cup and
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saucer at center. on right, is a teacup and saucer. there were 120 place settings made, eight pieces per play setting. in 1946, there was a gift made to the white house. dessert plates and breakfast cups and saucers. it was a gift of the dealer and appears to have come from the home of mrs. harriet pratt, who was a wealthy new york collector and member of an advisory committee to the white house, later its chairperson, for over 20 years. the mirror was intended for the state dining room. it was thought to be in the ad -- adam style from about 1790. we now think it to be the work of an english designer thomas chippendale and probably dates a little bit earlier, more like 1770. following the treatment reservation, the mirror hung in
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the blue room for many years, but was finally returned to the state dining room in 1961. a probable mates came to the white house collection in 1973 at the request of agnes myers. who was the wife of eugene meyers, the one-time publisher of the washington post. that mirror hangs in the entrance hall today. at the time of the white house renovation, during the truman presidency, there were foreign gifts that were received for the executive mansion including one from great britain. on october 31, 1951, princess elizabeth and prince philip arrived in washington for a visit with president and mrs. truman. here, you can see president truman picking them up at the airport. their brief visit included dinners held in their honor, a
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trip to mount vernon, a visit to the tomb of the unknown soldier and a general sightseeing around washington. prior to their departure on november 2, the princess presented gifts on behalf of her father, king george the sixth. keep in mind, the white house was still in the midst of a major renovation. the ceremony was held in the rose garden on this makeshift platform. during her remarks, the princess mentioned that the renovation of the white house had attracted interest all over the world. she added, if it had been possible to preserve this beautiful building, many people in britain would have shared your disappointment. as it is, we are glad to join with you in celebrating its restoration. my father, who has many happy memories of his own stay in the house, has wished to mark the event with a personal gift. it gave the king a great pleasure when he found the upper mantle which is before you now, the work of 18th century artists and embodying the finest british
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craftsmanship. it seems perfectly suited for the place which it will occupy. it is his hope and mine that it will be a welcome ornament to one of your proudest national possessions, and that it will remain here is a mark of our friendship so long as the white house shall stand. on the left, you can see that over mantle mirror, also referred to as the trumo. unfortunately, we don't know the maker. on the right, is an example of a candelabra that accompanied the mirror made of gilded bronze, marble from about 1770 and attributed to michael bolton. the mayor is not prominent feature of the queen's bedroom, one of the principal guestrooms
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named for the seven queens of the testator, including queen elizabeth the second and her mother. the candelabra can be found in the yellow, oval room a room that is now a formal drawing room in a private family quarters. in january of 1958, the white house received a gift of gilded silver. it was a gift of an heiress of a montana mining fortune. she was also a well-known hostess who had entertained general and mrs. dwight d. eisenhower in paris when he was head of the nato forces in europe. she developed a friendship with mrs. eisenhower. she was a guest at the white house on several occasions. according to her daughter, at a white house dinner, she decided to leave her collection to the u.s. government for use in the white house. as much of this collection as possible was exhibited in a
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.ewly created for may room this is how that room appeared in 1960. this is the room as it appears today. there are not as many pieces on being, and certainly some important examples. there are over 1500 pieces in the collection, a variety of forms dating mostly to the 18th century and 19th century, made by some of the finest english and french silversmiths. an english regency silversmith is represented by several objects, including a set of 61 -- six wine coolers, each decorated with classical roman scenes. on the left is an example of one of the wine coolers. today, they are found on the mantle of the east room. on the right is a soup terrain, one of a pair made from 1778 to 1779 by james young by design of robert adams.
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the soup terrain's were made for a duke, whose son left the request to create the smithsonian institution. these are two of my favorite pieces. yure, andt is a water on the right a wine yure. made from 1817-1818. they are based in a popular form made by wage war -- wedgwood. in 1963 and 1964, another notable gift came to the white house. this was presented by mrs. dorothea weinman. it was of a group of english regency table silver, most of which was made by the london silversmith, paul store. on the left, you can see examples of candelabra. there were two pair of heavily
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chase candelabra that was part of this collection. with that, the way it was designed, each piece can be disassembled. you can have your choice of a single candlestick or if you add the scrolled arms, you can create a candelabra. the silver belonged to alexander the 10th duke of hamilton. it was part of an official ambassadorial service of silver. it was received from the crown when he was appointed british ambassador to russia in 1806. we think the candelabra may have been a later supplement to the ambassadorial service. the pieces that came to the white house included 104 dinner plates, five covered meat platters, to covered chop plates, a wine cistern, and two pair of candelabra. the plate on the right, if you look at the upper top edge
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there, you will see that it included the engraved arms of king george the third and the duke of hamilton. at the time of the gift, mrs. weinmann said the silver was being made available to the white house in order to enhance its historical furnishings and a further the patriotic inspiration, the people of united states received from it. i would be remiss if i didn't include examples from the fine arts collection. in accordance with our collection policy, we collected first of all, portraits of presidents and first ladies, important americans, and is -- and those important to the story of the white house. there is no one more important to our country than benjamin franklin. this portrait of benjamin franklin was painted in 1767 by david martin. martin was a scotsman who studied with alan ramsey and established a studio in london
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around 1757. franklin was in london in 1757 being celebrated for his publications on electricity. he returned again in 1764 and it was his testimony in the house of commons in 1766 that led to the repeal of the stamp act. at this time, he is perhaps the most famous american at home and abroad. this painting was commissioned by robert alexander, from the firm of william alexander and sons in edinburgh. family tradition tells us that robert had a disputed claim to property. he and the other claimant agreed to refer the matter to franklin and abide by his decision. it must have gone very well for robert, which explains the commission. the document in franklin's hand is actually one of alexander's deeds. it is not a government document.
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the artist also included in the upper left-hand side of bust of isaac newton, the greatest english voice of reason to oversee the scene. the painting was a gift in 19 62 by mr. and mrs. walter annenberg. he was an editor and publisher and later he was appointed ambassador to great britain by president nixon. he had a longtime interest in franklin, enhanced by the fact that the statesman was an editor as well as a printer in philadelphia and that he had founded the university of pennsylvania, of which mr. annenberg was a trustee. we also have a few likenesses of british subjects in our collection. this is a portrait of sandy campbell painted in 1834. sully was born in england, his family later emigrated to the
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united states when he was still a boy. he later became a well-known portrait painter. francis ann campbell was a celebrated actress and member of a theatrical family who came to the united states on tour in 1832. in 1833, she performed in washington to great acclaim. in fact, she was presented to president andrew jackson at the white house. she would later describe the president as a good specimen of a fine old battered soldier. [laughter] sully met her in philadelphia by a cousin of his. he was quite inter-old by her. -- enthrawled by her. he did several likenesses, he painted several likenesses of her. sandy went on to mary pierce butler. he came from a wealthy philadelphia family that also owned plantations in georgia. theirs is not a happy marriage.
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she was opposed to the slavery that she witnessed on her husband's plantations. that and other factors led her to leave him in 1846, returned to england and later divorce in 1849. fanny's story does not end there. she did return to the united states from time to time. she had lost custody of her daughter's and was only able to visit them for short time each year. until they turned 21. she did return to the stage to raise money but not as an actress. she gave public readings. she was a prolific writer. she published a couple of plays, a volume of her poetry. during the civil war, she was very concerned about foreign attitudes towards the confederacy. wanting to turn british opinion in favor of the union cause, in 1863, she decided to publish her
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journal about life in georgia and all that she witnessed. it was entitled" journal of a residence on a georgian plantation." this is our portrait of president woodrow wilson, painted by an irish born artist. during the first world war, he was chosen by the british department of information to document the conflict. in addition to portraits and military leaders and soldiers in the trenches, he also painted graham battle scenes. rim battle scenes. because of his wartime service, he was knighted in 1918. in 1919, he was commissioned to record the paris peace conference. our portrait of president wilson is seen at right was a study that he painted during the conference. he also painted studies of the other participants that included the prime ministers of italy, france and britain.
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with these studies, he created a large painting seen at left, commemorating the june 28, 1919 signing of the treaty of versailles. the painting is entitled signing of peace in the hall of mirrors. it's part of the collection of the imperial war museum in london. if you look very carefully, just to the left of center, you can see a seated president wilson. our portrait is thought to have belonged to the wilson's before passing to a close friend and advisor. it was a gift to the white house in 1962 given in honor of his father. finally, i wanted to close with the bronze bust of winston churchill by jacob epstein dated 1946 in our collection. a gift to the wartime friends of winston churchill.
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epstein was born in new york city in 1880, later moved across the pond and became a british citizen in 1907. during the 1940's, the british ministry commissioned him to create six likenesses of wartime leaders. the most notable being the bronze head of winston churchill. epstein was later knighted in 1952. the following her chills that, 18 donors joined together to acquire this bronze for the white house collection. his wartime friends included a former president, dwight d. eisenhower who was supreme commander of the allied forces in europe. general omar bradley and all but one u.s. ambassador to the united kingdom. during the 1946-1965 period.
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as we all heard today, church how does churchill had a white house connection. as prime minister of great britain, he stayed in the white house several times during world war ii, notably after one of our darkest hours, the bombing of pearl harbor on december 7, 1941. the prime minister arrived on december 22, with presents for christmas. he was with president roosevelt on the south portico when the national christmas tree was lit on christmas eve. along with the president, the prime minister delivered a brief message that was broadcast around the nation into the world. nearing the end of his remarks, he said let the children have their night of fun and laughter, but the gifts of father christmas delight their play. let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and formidable years that lie before us, resolve that by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their
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right to live in a free and decent world. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] american history tv is in prime time next week. starting monday night at 8:00 eastern, historians discuss philadelphia in 1960 eight, looking at how protests over the vietnam war impacted the city. on worlda symposium war i and future u.s. leaders, including a talk on dwight eisenhower stateside training of world war i troops and his work with tanks. wednesday, a discussion on the declaration of independence and how it interpreted and is applied in u.s. history. thursday, former white house photographers talk about the reagan, bush, clinton and obama administration. on friday, life and legacy of
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robert f kennedy with a ceremony from arlington national cemetery egg knowledge a 50th anniversary of his assassination. watch american history tv in primetime on c-span3. c-span's "washington journal." live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, health news chief washington correspondent discusses recent changes to the affordable care act in the state of health care in the u.s.. debt reachestional 21 trillion, government accountability offices will be here to talk about the fiscal health of the u.s. the sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern on monday morning. join the discussion. on american history tv, history professor and u.s. marine corps reserve cornel
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talks about his book the life and times of general andrew pickens. revolutionary war hero, american founder. theessor andrew recounts experiences and moral conflicts of the south carolina militia commander what cheap many victories against british and loyalist forces during the revolution. of the cincinnati hosted this hour-long event.


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